”And Jacob left Beer sheba, and he went to Haran”…

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– Yaakov’s descent to Charan serves as an analogy for the descent of the soul into the body. Each Jew’s soul is pure, “an actual part of G‑d from above.” It descends from Beer Sheva, the Sefirah of Binah of Atzilus to Charan, the Sefirah of Malchus and more particularly, to Malchus as it brings into being the worlds below it including our material world. The latter are filled with influences which conceal G‑dliness to the extent where a Jew can be possessed by fear.

The intent of this descent, however, is that a Jew overcome these concealments caused by the material world and establish a Jewish home.

This is done through the service of Torah and mitzvos performed by a Jew as he exists within the context of the material world. In these efforts the material nature of the world must be made subordinate to its spiritual content as the body is subordinate to the soul.

It is through this descent into the body that the soul reaches a higher level itself. This process is alluded to by the words vayeilech Charanah, “he proceeded to Charan,” i.e., it was the descent to Charan which allowed Yaakov to “proceed,” to advance spiritually.

From the Rebbe’s talk on Shabbat Parshat Vayeitzei, Tes Kislev, 5752.

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